‘How did she get from Quiar to Raenarin?’ Peric asked, unable to stop himself, even though he knew he really should. Being able to talk to one of the worlds was just too much of a temptaiton. ‘Was she a slave as well?’
‘No, actually she was a Moonjumper. It was much more dangerous then, because no one was as skilled at making transformation charms as they are now, so there was a chance she could have been caught at any point. That didn’t stop anyone at the time, though. Feeling the urge to travel the Web doesn’t fade away just because it isn’t safe.’ Quiar sounded very much like she was smiling. ‘Katya, long before she left Quiar, was someone who took risks, and now she’s taking risks once again, this time in order to retake a throne that should never have been lost in the first place. Unfortunately it was one of those things that had to happen, even though we all wished that it didn’t. For Raenarin it was one of the most difficult things she’d ever had to do, but she knew that she really had no other choice – she had to take a step back and let things happen as they needed to.
‘Now, though, things are different. She wants to help Katya and can’t, because no one is open enough at the moment for her to be able to get through, which was, in part, due to something that the old Queen did. There was a time, not so long ago when Katya was a true Moonjumper. Although she didn’t belong to Raenarin then Katya did have several conversations with her about what was coming in the future. Often there were times when Raenarin really wanted to tell her about her past and future lives, but we couldn’t be certain that she would choose to take on the life of the girl who would be the Witch Queen of Raenarin. Making the choice to become the person she is now means that she lacks certain knowledge that would help her, which is why Raenarin so wants to be able to talk to her.
‘A few of us have tried to get through, to see what we can do. Nothing works, because Katya doesn’t yet know that the worlds are sentient, and that always makes things very difficult. Sometimes we can float into their minds using dreams, although that is a very rare occurence, so we need to work out something else, which might well be Lucille going to talk to her. That does depend on how things work out here, though…’ She sighed. ‘There is so much still to come, Peric, and so much that has already happened. I’m tired of it all some days, yet I know that I’m needed too much for me to sleep now. Rae needs me, Gaelom needs me, Lucille needs me… the list goes on and I worry that I don’t have the energy to deal with it all, even though I know that I will.
‘I’m just finding life particularly hard at the moment. Life as a sentient world is not something that I asked for, but I never had a choice in the matter. I am what I am and I have to deal with it as best I can. Some days it’s much harder for me than it is others. Today, although I’m not certain why, is one of the hard days. When I feel like this it’s nice to have someone to talk to, even if I do go off on tangents and totally ignore the question that I was asked.’
‘Go off on tangents if you need to, Quiar. I honestly don’t mind.’
‘You are wonderful to talk to. It seemed to me that you had the flicker of a question in your mind.’
Peric thought it was better to ask than it was to act as though he hadn’t, because the latter would take much more time than the former. ‘Would there be any way for you to switch with someone, so that you were no longer the soul of a world?’
There was a long silence. ‘I have no idea.’ Quiar sounded very thoughtful. ‘It isn’t something any of us have done, because I would have heard of it, but there is a chance that a world in one of the other Webs might have. I’m going to have to ask some questions before I can answer you. I have no idea why one of us hasn’t thought of it before.’
‘Maybe because you haven’t had a reason to.’
‘That is possible. Now I should tell you about Katya. From the very beginning we knew she was going to be special. You get that with some souls, while others creep up on you.’
‘Yes, Lucille was very much like that. We didn’t know until recently that she was going to be someone we should work with, although we were even before, because true Moonjumpers were much rarer then. It takes most souls a ling time to get to that point. Some of them won’t be anywhere near ready for another millennium or more. Katya… I remember her first life. She was created to live on Quiar and Emrys worked closely with the Weavers to make certain that all of the souls were in the right bodies. None of the settlement fae were happy with the number of souls he created for this world, but he ignored them, because Quiar was important to him. He started work on it before he travelled to Athare, realising that he needed to try something different if he was going to make this Web work. Athare had talked to him about the worlds that had worked here and the worlds that hadn’t, so he’d know what sort of thing to do.
‘Katya was originally a mouse. She spent three lives learning what she needed to know before moving on to the tigers and then spent more lifetimes than we expected in Mothar. Once she was done she moved on to Kniroch, then Kniroch’s sibling worlds, then Beshaki, then Kankirin, and finally moved onto Raenarin for one lifetime before she became the Witch Queen. I have no idea why she thought Kankirin was somewhere she wanted to be, but we didn’t stop her, because we hoped she was learning what she need to know for the future we believed would be hers. During all of those lives she was a true Moonjumper, although she didn’t have a chance to use her skills during the time she was on Kankirin.’
‘Who would have been the Witch Queen if it wasn’t Katya?’
‘At the time we had three other options, none of which were as good as Katya, but they would have worked. One of them was Lucille, actually. I am so glad it wasn’t her, because I need her more than Raenarin did, although I would have given her up if Katya had decided to do something else, because I know how important it is that we have a Queen on Raenarin again. Without a Queen the covens are going to end up destroying the world. Hopefully the Gaeloms would work the way Emrys planned for them to and one would take the place of Raenarin. Unfortunately we don’t know for certain if it will work until it has to. By then it will be too late for us to think of some sort of plan B.
‘The other two options are souls I don’t know very well. One is a soul who started off as a Weaver, but chose to move on to another race, which is very unusual. All of the other Weavers have kept being Weavers, although there are souls that started off as other races that later became Weavers. She went from Athare to Beshaki, to Siaral, to Aerith, back to Siaral, lived three lives on Janoch, and then spent the last of her lives on Raenarin. We’re hoping that she will become one of Katya’s allies in the future, but there are no guarantees. If she doesn’t she’s going to end up being one of Katya’s greatest opponents, but I think Katya will be able to keep going.
‘Our last option started her lives on Janoch. That really does seem to have affected her, as she always tries to reincarnate with the soul who was her bondmate there. Fortunately he’s been willing to stay with her, but we didn’t really have a position for him if she did become the Witch Queen, and that would have made things difficult. She decided to live a life on Athare instead, her bondmate beside her once more, although I think he is becoming more impatient to explore the Web without her. I don’t know if he ever will though, because he does seem to realise how much she needs him. Unfortunately we haven’t worked out how to fix the issue, if it’s even possible to.’
Mirrored from K. A. Webb Writing.